Who Do We Think We Are

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Who Do We Think We Are
DeepPurple WhoDoWeThinkWeAre.jpg
Studio album by Deep Purple
Released January 1973
Recorded July 1972 in Rome, Italy and October 1972 in Frankfurt, Germany, with the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio
Genre Hard rock, blues rock[1]
Length 34:27
Label Purple (Europe, Oceania, South America)
Warner Bros. (North America & Japan)
Producer Deep Purple
Deep Purple chronology
Machine Head
(1972)
Who Do We Think We Are
(1973)
Burn
(1974)
Singles from Who Do We Think We Are
  1. "Woman from Tokyo"
    Released: 1973
  2. "Super Trouper" / "Blood Sucker"
    Released: 1973 (Europe only)
Ian Gillan chronology
Machine Head
(1972)
Who Do We Think We Are
(1973)
Child in Time
(1976)
Roger Glover chronology
Machine Head
(1972)
Who Do We Think We Are
(1973)
The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper's Feast
(1974)

Who Do We Think We Are is the seventh studio album by the English hard rock band Deep Purple, released in 1973. It was Deep Purple's last album with singer Ian Gillan and bassist Roger Glover until Perfect Strangers came out in 1984.

Musically, the record showed a move to a more blues based sound,[1] even featuring scat singing.[2] Although its production and the band's behavior after its release showed the group in turmoil, with frontman Gillan remarking that "we'd all had major illnesses" and felt considerable fatigue, the album was a commercial success. Deep Purple became the US' top selling artist of the entire year.[1] The album also featured the energetic hard rock single "Woman from Tokyo", which has been performed on several tours by the band over the years.

Despite massive sales, the group disintegrated among much infighting between band members as well as conflicts with their managers. The album's line-up would come to an end after a final concert in Osaka, Japan on 29 June 1973.[1]

Recording[edit]

Who Do We Think We Are was recorded in Rome in July 1972 and Walldorf near Frankfurt in October 1972, using the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio.

"Woman from Tokyo", the first track recorded in July 1972, is about touring Japan for the first time (e.g. the lyric "Fly into the Rising Sun"). The only other track released from the Rome sessions is the outtake "Painted Horse". The rest of the album was recorded in Frankfurt after more touring (including in Japan). The group, riven with internal strife, struggled to come up with tracks that everyone could agree upon. Members of the band were not speaking to each other and many songs were only finished after carefully arranged schedules could be worked out for the band of fighting musicians to record their parts separately.

Ian Gillan left the band following this album, citing internal tensions widely thought to include a feud with Blackmore. However, in an interview supporting the release of the 1984 Mark II Deep Purple comeback album Perfect Strangers, Gillan stated that fatigue and management conflicts also had a lot to do with it.

We had just come off 18 months of touring, and we'd all had major illnesses at one time or another. Looking back, if they'd have been decent managers, they would have said, 'All right, stop. I want you to all go on three months' holiday. I don't even want you to pick up an instrument.' But instead they pushed us to complete the album on time. We should have stopped. I think if we did, Deep Purple would have still been around to this day.[1][3]

The last Mark II concert in the 1970s before Ian Gillan and Roger Glover left was in Osaka, Japan on 29 June 1973.[1]

Album title and artwork[edit]

The original album artwork has many quoted articles from newspapers. One of them is from magazine Melody Maker of July 1972, where Ian Paice says:

Deep Purple get piles of passionate letters either violently against or pro the group. The angry ones generally start off "Who do Deep Purple think they are..."

Release[edit]

Despite the chaotic birth of the album, "Woman from Tokyo" was a hit single and other songs picked up considerable airplay. The fans bought it in record numbers and in the US, for example, it sold half a million copies in its first three months.[1]

It hit number 4 in the UK charts[4] and number 15 in the US charts.[5] It also achieved a gold record award faster than any Deep Purple album released up to that time. These numbers helped make Deep Purple the best selling artist in the U.S. in 1973 (with the prior acclaim for Machine Head and Made in Japan helping much as well).

In 2000 Who Do We Think We Are was remastered and re-released with bonus tracks. The last bonus track is a lengthy instrumental jam called "First Day Jam", that features Ritchie Blackmore on bass. Roger Glover, the group's usual bassist, was absent, lost in traffic.

In 2005 Audio Fidelity released their own re-mastering of the album on 24 karat Gold CD.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 2/5 stars[2]

The album received mixed reviews. Ann Cheauvy of Rolling Stone reviewed the album negatively and comparing Who Do We Think We Are to the Deep Purple's breakthrough album In Rock wrote that the former "sounds so damn tired in spots that it's downright disconcerting" and "the band seems to just barely summon up enough energy to lay down the rhythm track, much less improvise."[6] In a retrospective critical review, Eduardo Rivadavia of AllMusic expresses the same opinion and writes that apart from "Woman from Tokyo", the album's songs are "wildly inconsistent and find the band simply going through the motions," although he did praise "Rat Bat Blue".[2] On the contrary, reviewer David Bowling writes in the Blogcritics site that Who Do We Think We Are "is one of the band’s strongest and stands near the top of the Deep Purple catalogue in terms of quality", providing "some of the best hard rock of the era."[7]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Jon Lord and Ian Paice.

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Woman from Tokyo" 5:48
2. "Mary Long" 4:23
3. "Super Trouper" 2:54
4. "Smooth Dancer" 4:08
Side two
No. Title Length
5. "Rat Bat Blue" 5:23
6. "Place in Line" 6:29
7. "Our Lady" 5:12

Personnel[edit]

Deep Purple
Additional personnel
  • Produced by Deep Purple
  • Martin Birch – engineer
  • Jeremy Gee, Nick Watterton – Rolling Stones Mobile Unit operators
  • Ian Paice and Roger Glover – mixing
  • Ian Hansford, Rob Cooksey, Colin Hart, Ron Quinton – equipment
  • Roger Glover and John Coletta – cover design
  • Peter Denenberg with Roger Glover – bonus tracks remixing (2000 edition)
  • Peter Mew – remastering (tracks 1-7) and mastering (tracks 8-14) at Abbey Road Studios, London (2000 edition)

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Country Organization Year Sales
USA RIAA 1973 Gold (+ 500,000)[23]
France SNEP 1977 Gold (+ 100,000)[24]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Stan Cornyn. "Stay Tuned By Stan Cornyn: Loudest Purple". Rhino.com. Retrieved January 20, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Deep Purple - Who Do We Think We Are review". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 2017-03-05. 
  3. ^ Deep Purple: The Interview. Interview picture disc, 1984, Mercury Records.
  4. ^ a b "Deep Purple Official Charts". Official Chart Company. Retrieved 5 February 2017. 
  5. ^ a b "Deep Purple Chart History: Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved 5 February 2017. 
  6. ^ Cheauvy, Ann (12 April 1973). "Deep Purple: Who Do We Think We Are". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2017-03-07. 
  7. ^ Bowling, David (30 November 2011). "Music Review: Deep Purple – Who Do We Think We Are". Blogcritics. Retrieved 2017-03-07. 
  8. ^ "Deep Purple - Who Do We Think We Are (album)". Norwegiancharts.com. Media Control Charts. Retrieved 6 March 2017. 
  9. ^ "Danske Hitliter: Who Do We Think We Are - Deep Purple" (in Danish). Royal Library, Denmark. Archived from the original on 9 April 2016. Retrieved 6 March 2017. 
  10. ^ "Go-Set Australian charts - 26 May 1973". poparchives.com.au. 
  11. ^ "Deep Purple - Who Do We Think We Are". Austriancharts.at (in German). Media Control Charts. Retrieved 6 March 2017. 
  12. ^ "Gli album più venduti del 1973" (in Italian). Hit Parade Italia.it. Retrieved 6 March 2017. 
  13. ^ "Album – Deep Purple, Who Do We Think We Are". Charts.de (in German). Media Control Charts. Retrieved 6 March 2017. 
  14. ^ "Deep Purple - Who Do We Think We Are". Dutchcharts.nl (in Dutch). Media Control Charts. Retrieved 6 March 2017. 
  15. ^ "Top Albums/CDs - Volume 19, No. 8, April 07, 1973". Library and Archives Canada. 7 April 1973. Retrieved 6 March 2017. 
  16. ^ AA.VV. (1990). Oricon Chart Book 1970-1989 (オリコンチャートブック〈LP編) (1 ed.). Tokyo, Japan: Oricon. p. 205. ISBN 978-4871310253. 
  17. ^ "Deep Purple - Woman from Tokyo". Dutchcharts.nl (in Dutch). Media Control Charts. Retrieved 6 March 2017. 
  18. ^ "Single – Deep Purple, Woman from Tokyo". Charts.de (in German). Media Control Charts. Retrieved 6 March 2017. 
  19. ^ "Deep Purple - Woman from Tokyo". Ultratop.be (Flanders) (in Dutch). Media Control Charts. Retrieved 6 March 2017. 
  20. ^ "infodisc.fr Note : You must select Deep Purple". infodisc.fr. Retrieved 10 March 2017. 
  21. ^ "Deep Purple Chart History: The Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved 2 March 2017. 
  22. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 19, No. 13, May 12, 1973". Library and Archives Canada. 12 May 1973. Retrieved 6 March 2017. 
  23. ^ "RIAA Searchable Database: search for Deep Purple". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 5 February 2017. 
  24. ^ "Les Certifications depuis 1973 : search for Deep Purple" (in French). Infodisc.fr. Retrieved 26 February 2017. 
Preceded by
Slayed? by Slade
Denmark number one album: Who Do We Think We Are
26 February  – 24 March 1973
Succeeded by
Sound '73 by Les Humphries Singers
Preceded by
Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player by Elton John
Norway number one album: Who Do We Think We Are
19  – 26 March 1973
Succeeded by
Norsk på topp by Various Artists